'Look at what Adam Gilchrist did for Australia' - Sunil Gavaskar wants Rishabh Pant to open in white-ball cricket

‘Look at what Adam Gilchrist did for Australia’ – Sunil Gavaskar wants Rishabh Pant to open in white-ball cricket

Rishabh Pant averages just 32.50 in ODIs and 23.15 in T20Is in comparison to 43.32 in red-ball cricket.

Rishabh Pant
Rishabh Pant (Photo source: Twitter)

While the Indian head coach Rahul Dravid laments the woeful form of the Indian top-order after the recently concluded fifth Test against England, Rishabh Pant’s reputation in Test cricket has taken another monumental leap. Former Indian cricketer Sunil Gavaskar has suggested a tweak in the southpaw’s batting position to utilize his abilities in the shorter format of the game.

Pant’s maligned recent form in white-ball cricket was a concern for the team management heading into the rescheduled fifth Test in Birmingham. But the explosive batter proved all the doubters wrong with a sensational century in the first innings and followed it with another crisp half-century in the second. The 24-year-old is in a league of his own when it comes to centuries in away Tests by an Indian wicketkeeper-batter, as he has four to his name, while no other player has more than even one.

Batting great and cricketer-turned-commentator, Sunil Gavaskar commented on Pant’s recent form in white-ball cricket and drew parallels with Aussie legend Adam Gilchrist. Gavaskar suggested that the southpaw should be promoted to the top of the batting order in the limited-overs format, much like Australia did with Gilchrist, who used to bat much lower down the order in Tests.

“Not a bad option at all. Look at what Adam Gilchrist did for Australia in white-ball cricket. He used to bat at No.6 or 7 in Test cricket but while opening in white-ball cricket he was destructive. Maybe someone like Rishabh Pant can be equally destructive, and he will get that many more overs to play,” Gavaskar said on Sports Today.

Rishabh Pant will have a few deliveries to get used to the pace and movement: Sunil Gavaskar

Notably, the flamboyant southpaw was touted as the finisher for India’s limited overs side after the retirement of former Indian skipper MS Dhoni. But ironically, he has struggled for form in white-ball cricket in stark contrast to his prolific run in Test matches.

Pant has been guilty of trying to overhit the ball in the shorter format of the game, which was quite evident in the T20I series against South Africa last month. Gavaskar stated that he will have more time at the top of the order and won’t have to go on the attack from the start.

“We have been talking about him as a finisher but then he comes in there, starts slamming the ball, and straightaway gets out. Here, he will have the awareness that he doesn’t have to go bang bang from the first ball. He will have a few deliveries to get used to the pace and movement,” the former Indian opener added.